The Games We Play

14 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2017

See all articles by Ann Carey Juliano

Ann Carey Juliano

Villanova University School of Law

Date Written: October 2017


We Civil Procedure professors like to shake our heads and grimly note the unique difficulties we face in teaching Procedure to first year students. We use phrases like “alien and incomprehensible,” “abstract and alienating,” and “not the most spellbinding course in the first-year curriculum.” Students approach the “pamphlet “of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with trepidation and a weary sigh.

To fight against this predisposition and to demonstrate to students that they have read, interpreted, and employed “rules” for many years, I now begin the semester by playing board games. By spending some time in the first class with Monopoly, Jenga, and several other games, I hope to accomplish many of the objectives suggested in the pedagogical research. More specifically, by playing cards or Apples to Apples, I am able to raise important points about rules and how we interpret them while setting a less formal, collegial tone for the semester.

Keywords: Civil Procedure, Teaching Civil Procedure

Suggested Citation

Juliano, Ann, The Games We Play (October 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Ann Juliano (Contact Author)

Villanova University School of Law ( email )

299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
United States
610-519-7058 (Phone)
610-519-6472 (Fax)

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